Make In India: Bombay HC Grants Relief To 3 Chinese Firms, 69 Chinese Workers; Quashes ‘Leave India’ Notice Issued
A Hong-Kong based concern claiming to be working in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative secured relief from the Bombay High Court on Friday. Some 69 workers of the said concern were invited by Pacific Cyber Company Pvt Ltd, an Indian company engaged in development and assembly of mobile phones, to visit the Pacific’s plants in Daman and Silvasa, to provide technical know-how and train the Indian staff. These workers were issued a business visa which is still valid.
The Foreign Registration Officer, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, issued a notice to these Chinese workers asking them to leave India. A division bench of Justice BP Dharmadhikari and Justice SV Kotwal heard the petitions filed by Pacific Cyber and two other companies that had entered into an agreement with the Hong-Kong based concern. In the petitions, the said notice was challenged.
Shrishailya S Deshmukh appeared on behalf of the Foreign Registration officer. He stated that officers of respondents had visited the plant and ‘found these Chinese persons actually working’. They were therefore employed in the plant. Some of them were found having tourist visa. A person having a tourist visa or a business visa cannot accept any employment. If Chinese citizens wish to have employment visa, different standards apply and employment procured by circumventing the said standard cannot be permitted, Deshmukh said.
He further informed the bench that only one of the Chinese citizens could communicate with officers visiting the plant and statements of two Indian nationals, supervising the production process have also been recorded. Deshmukh told the bench their statement supports the case of employment.
The bench observed -
“After hearing respective Counsel, we find that in any case when the Chinese citizens were having Business Visa, still a decision to expel them from India has been taken, alleging its violation. A showcause notice could have been issued to them and to the persons on whose invitation they have come to India. If facts disclosed by Petitioners are correct, their manufacturing activity may receive serious setback. Hence a proper finding on facts is essential here.”
Representing the petitioners, Senior Counsel Prasad Dhakephalkar submitted that these Chinese citizens had no grievance as such and they were ready and willing to abide by the law of the land.
The court directed the respondents to speak with the Chinese citizens and ascertain the true position. The bench also asked the citizens to co-operate with the respondents in the entire episode. The court said-
“We therefore direct Respondents to hear the Petitioners and if necessary, such of Chinese nationals as are ready and willing, to ascertain true and correct position. This exercise shall be completed within two weeks from today.”
The ‘Leave India’ notice was quashed and set aside.